Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Until the day breaks and the shadows flee

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio
Song of Songs 4:6 
“Until the cool of the day
         When the shadows flee away,
         I will go my way to the mountain of myrrh
         And to the hill of frankincense. 

 This morning I stated reading in Song of Songs chapter 2. It was the passage listed in the bible reading guide that I have decided to work through. It is one that takes you through the whole bible in a year. I've attached a copy to the left as your Birthday Month Favor of the day. Since I am starting this in the middle of the year I began reading in chapter 2 of Song of Songs.
 I have to admit that for years I found the words of this book beautiful but just did not really know what to make of them. Of late they have come more and more alive to me.

I had had several dreams in recent nights in which the Lord was there waiting for me to come with Him. I knew I would go with Him but I asked him for a bit more time to resolve some issues that I needed to resolve from the past. I realized those things that I wanted to work, and wanted to cling to would not work, but for some reason I was not fully ready to release them. I am grateful for the Lord's patience with me.

So I had long ago asked the Lord to not let me remember dreams unless they were from Him. I asked Him to do that because I had at one time as a new believer I had horrible night terrors. I had to learn how to call to Him in the middle of those dreams. I also badly needed some deliverance and eventually got it. At some point I just asked that he not allow me to remember dreams that were not from Him. He has been quite faithful to that request and I rarely remember dreams. When I do remember them, I take notice. I know there is something that the Lord wants me to see or figure out. I know he is giving them to me as clues.  For the last number of days my dreams have been very vivid and I have remembered them upon waking. I have been asking the Lord to help me understand what he is saying to me. I know He then will lead me to places in his Word, and to books or someone will say something and suddenly it will click for me and the light bulb will turn on - and I get it.

Today in Song of Songs 2 I came across the words "My lover is mine and I am his; he browses among the lilies. Until the day brakes and the shadows flee." I read that and I started to wonder if in that place of dreaming that the Lord wanted to not just leave me clues but to be with me in that place. I thought of the dream where He asks if I am ready to choose Him alone. I realize that in helping me see that my heart is yet divided, he has also let me see that he waits for me. I found myself reading on and in chapter 4 I found the same words. "Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, I will go to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of incense. All beautiful are you, my darling; there is no flaw in you. 

I have found myself thinking about those words through out the day. At one point I decided to read a classic little book by Hudson Taylor called Union and Communion. You can read it on line and I have put a link to it on the book title. It was rich with insight into this book - it was a very fast read as well.

I realized in reading it that we are often slow to realize that He is truly all that we could want or need. In reading Union and Communion it helped me to see how the bride changes through the chapters of Song of Songs. There are times when she has slipped back to the things of the world and is slow to respond. Then restoration comes and a chapter later she has slipped away again but not to worldly distractions but to being satisfied with the ease of her positon. Hudson Taylor writes "How sadly possible it is to take delight in conferences and conventions, to feast on all the good things that are brought before us, and yet to be unprepared to go out from them to self-denying efforts to rescue the perishing; to delight in the rest of faith while forgetful to fight the good fight of faith; to dwell upon the cleansing and the purity effected by faith, but to have little thought for the poor souls struggling in the mire of sin. If we can put off our coat when He would have us keep it on; if we can wash our feet while He is wandering alone upon the mountains, is there not sad want of fellowship with our LORD?"  Again in the next chapter union and communion are restored.

The Beloved Mosaic - by Margot Cioccio
I think about the Beloved Mosaic and how the Lord has been trying to get me to see that the depths of intimacy I want will only be found in Him. I have known a long time that in some ways the Beloved Mosaic is a picture of my hearts desire. It reminds me of the places in the Song of Songs where the Lover and His Beloved are on the mountain of myrrh and the hill of incense. I know that this Song of Songs speaks to the communion that the Lord desires to have with His church. I am reminded of the virgins who wait for the bridegroom and some are not ready when he comes. My heart is that I would be ready. My hope is that you would be too.

At one point the beloved bride goes in search of her lover and can't find him. She is told to follow the sheep paths. That He will be with the sheep. I see so vividly the progression of believers. We love Jesus, but we are often pulled back to the old life and suddenly realize we are alone. He calls to us to come away with him but we delay because we have things we have not resolved. Finally we search and we find him tending his sheep. We go with him everywhere for a while but at some point we become satisfied and He goes on alone and we hardly notice he is not there. He comes and calls to us but we are at rest and our feet are clean and we have no desire to get them dirty to answer the door. At last we decide to answer the door and He is no longer there. We go searching and suffer hardship along the way. We remember where to find him when we begin to tell others why our beloved is better than others.

As we gaze upon Him his reflection falls upon us and He sees us as beautiful, without spots or wrinkles or brokenness.  I suppose it is just where I have been today I'm not sure I have even explained it all that well. It has been a day of sweet communion with Him. For all my previous concerns for the future have washed away in His presence and I suppose what I do, or where I go in the future does not really matter as long as I am with the Lord.

I love the poetic sound of today's verse. “Until the cool of the day When the shadows flee away, I will go my way to the mountain of myrrh And to the hill of frankincense" I think of how when our lives become filled with communion with the Lord and prayer they become fragrant like incense rising up to heaven. Perhaps you will find him in the watches of the night or in the early morning before the shadows all flee away. He longs for you to come and be with him. He delights to spend time with you. 

Prayer: Thank you Lord for your great love. That even when we slide back into worldly cares, or slip into satisfied complacency that you still call to us. You are knocking and calling to each of us to come and follow you. I pray that this devotional will move its readers closer to you. That we will realize that everything pales in comparison to you.

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